As Remembered by Fr. Michel Holland
Although I do not know Fr. Bernard personally, I commend him for his brave and often heartbreaking book/memoir. His story is the story of many of us who were raised in the ultra-conservative environment of the Roman Catholic Church and who, for whatever reason, always felt ourselves to be on the fringes of damnation because of our sexuality. As pastor of an independent Catholic parish that reaches out--largely unsuccessfully--to gay and lesbian persons trapped in the shame, guilt and darkness of the Roman Church, I hear his story (and my own) again and again, ad infinitum. For those of us in the priesthood, we have a special mandate to serve the marginalized over the powerful, and although my parish is now five years old, I can sleep better at night knowing that I am living according to my conscience, while bringing open commensality to the Eucharistic table. There are less worthy ways to spend one's life and vocation. Thank you, Fr. Bernard, for helping me to weep for myself and my brothers and sisters.
March 7, 2013